- The Abbey of the Genesee - https://www.geneseeabbey.org -

Homily for November 18, 2020

Fr. Jerome Machar, OCSO

Wednesday of the 33rd Week in Ordinary Time

Revelation 4:1-11, Luke 19:11-28

“Worthy are you, Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things; because of your will, they came to be and were created” (Rev. 4:11). We are creatures of God, showing forth his wonder and majesty. The prophet Isaiah put it most beautifully. “you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay; you are the potter; we are all the work of your hands” (Is. 64:8). With the holy ones in the Holy City, we acknowledge the intensity with which God creates each one of us. The theme of God the Potter was taken up by Jeremiah. “Whenever the clay would not take the shape he wanted, he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good in his eyes to do” (Jer. 18:4). Because we are the handiwork of God, we seek to glorify him in all that we do.

Those who are called by Christ, are provided with all they need to respond to the call and carry out their expected service. When we see God’s handiwork, we can’t help but have an attitude of gratitude. The Psalmist put it quite beautifully. “When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars you set in place, what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them?” (Ps. 8: 3-4) It is overwhelming to think that this vessel of clay is the dwelling place where the Most-High has chosen to live. Because we are so fragile, God keeps us safe. Because we get lost so easily, God carries us close to his heart. In light of God’s infinite mercy, let us praise God with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our strength (CF, Mat. 22:37).

Saint Augustine penned these awe-inspiring words: “No greater gift could God have given to men than in making His Word, by which He created all things, their Head, and joining them to Him as His members: that the Son of Gog might become also the Son of man, one God with the Father, one Man with men; so that when we speak to God in prayer for mercy, we do not separate the Son from Him; and when the Body of the Son prays, it separates not its Head from itself: and it is one Savior of His Body, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who both prays for us, and prays in us, and is prayed to by us. He prays for us, as our Priest; He prays in us, as our Head; He is prayed to by us, as our God” (Saint Augustine Exposition on Psalm 86).

Throughout the Gospel, Jesus tells his followers not to be afraid of the consequences of acting out of love, of taking the initiative to forgive, of offering the little they have. The greatest of God’s creative acts is found in the sanctuary, which is the human heart. As the Father loved worthy Son, so he loves his unworthy disciples. We can use our hearts and minds to give glory to God and to help each other. The holiness and the love of God are more displayed in the forgiveness of sins, than in all his other works. Let us praise the God and Savior of the human race with a strong faith. Let us praise him with holy love and delight. Let us praise him by rejoicing in his love and comforting others with the comfort we have received from Him. Let us praise him with lively hope and work for the building up of the heavenly kingdom. To him be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority forever and ever. Amen.